GDF, US Coastguard ship to start a series of joint exercises off the Guyana Coast this weekend

The Guyana Defense Force Coast Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard are expected to begin the first of a series of joint exercises as part of the implementation of the two countries ratified Seafarer Agreement in 2020.

This exercise will take place off the coast of Guyana and will focus primarily on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

It will be conducted in conjunction with the US Coast Guard Cutter STONE ship, which is currently in the region for a multi-country tour.

The warship, known as USCGC Stone (WMSL 758), from Pascagoula, Mississippi in the US just before Christmas, sent a previous statement from the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS).

US Coastguard STONE Cutter Vessel

USCGC Stone is a Legend class cutter, considered one of the most technologically advanced ships in the US Coastguard fleet with a range of 12,000 nautical miles. They typically measure 127 meters, have a 54-foot beam (width at the widest point of the ship) and can reach a top speed of over 28 knots.

The ship will be on a multi-month location to the South Atlantic Ocean and will be tasked with counteracting illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, while also strengthening relationships for maritime sovereignty and security throughout the region.

This is the “first patrol of the service to South America in recent memory, and is carried out with the support of Guyana, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, and Portugal. The cutter has started a Portuguese Navy ship rider under a non-binding international agreement. ”

According to the release, Operation Southern Cross is being conducted in conjunction with US Southern Command. He is responsible for managing operations in Central and South America by working together to ensure the safety of the Western Hemisphere.

GDF Coastguard Vessel

In September US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Guyana and signed a maritime patrol agreement with officials in Guyana to guard against narcotics and other regional security threats.

President Dr Irfaan Ali had made clear that the maritime agreement would see joint patrols to intercept narcotics trafficking.

The President had also indicated that he would allow for the enhancement of technical and human capabilities while monitoring Guyana’s Unique Economic Zone. That move, he noted, would add well to stronger cooperation and broader technical support to help combat domestic and international organized criminal networks.